Republicans have hurtled America into the fifth day of its third government shutdown of the year, and shit is bleak. Donald Trump is alone, the national Christmas tree briefly went dark, and 800,000 federal workers are facing deferred pay.
Most national parks are closed during the shutdown. Amidst the national turmoil, NBC reports on a particularly sad holiday scene at the nation’s capitol that serves as a visual metaphor of the internal chaos:
Not far from those quarters, Terri Lyons, visiting from Rockville, Maryland, with her 27-year-old daughter as they do every Christmas, found the lights off at one of her favorite monuments, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, when she visited Sunday night. A single guide tried to show tourists around in the darkness.
... On Monday morning, standing at the fence surrounding the tree, Lyons listened to the foreign tourists around her and said she felt embarrassed. “I feel for the people trying to visit from outside of the country, what they think of us,” she said.
While programs like Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security won’t stop, many agencies are furloughing staff and limiting services. The United States Department of Agriculture, for example, won’t be updating its website and won’t be able to allocate additional federal funds to some food assistance programs, like the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations. (You can view a longer list here).
Though Congress convenes on Thursday, the government shutdown will remain in effect until they reach a deal with Donald Trump, a baby who demands funding for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border. “I can’t tell you when the government’s going to be open. I can tell you it’s not going to be open until we have a wall or fence, whatever they’d like to call it,” Trump said on Tuesday.